On Tuesday, the New York Yankees offered a unique opportunity to 35-year-old veteran bullpen arm Zach McAllister. He found himself coming full circle by throwing against the Boston Red Sox in the iconic Fenway Park. McAllister, originally a third-round draft pick for the Yankees in 2006, returned to his roots after stints with the Cleveland Guardians and Detroit Tigers.
A Long Road Back to the Yankees: Climbing Through Minor League Systems
Though McAllister has been out of Major League Baseball since 2018, he has been meticulously crafting his comeback through the minor-league systems. During this year, he clocked 16.2 innings for the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate in Scranton. He boasted impressive stats: a 1.62 ERA, 10.80 strikeouts per nine innings, a 97.6% left-on-base rate, and a 40% ground ball rate.
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The Emotion of the Moment: McAllister’s Fenway Experience
“It’s full circle for me,” McAllister said after Tuesday night’s win. “Got to every level but the big leagues when I was here last time so to be able to put on the pinstripes and be out there against Boston is something I’ll always remember.”
In his one inning of action on Tuesday, McAllister gave up one hit and one walk but also struck out a batter. Importantly, he did not surrender a single run, contributing to a stellar bullpen performance that followed a strong showing from Carlos Rodon.
Behind-the-Scenes Hard Work: Emotional and Well-Deserved
The veteran pitcher was notably emotional after the game, pointing to the countless hours of hard work and the support from those behind the scenes that culminated in this special moment.
“You can definitely get emotional about it,” he said. “It’s a lot of hard work that people don’t realize behind the scenes that go into it. For him to have that moment as well, it’s well-deserved and I couldn’t be more excited for him for what he went through to be able to get out there, too.”The Road Ahead: Yankees’ Bullpen Options
Following the season-ending injury to Jonathan Loáisiga, the Yankees might keep McAllister in the bullpen rotation for the remaining weeks until the regular season wraps on October 1. While it remains to be seen whether he can carve out a more permanent role for himself next season, McAllister is savoring every moment of his time back in Yankee pinstripes.